As promised I have completed a fairly good towing run with a 2014 Summit Hemi and a decently heavy Trailer. Everything is based on my personal experiences and my opinion on the capabilities of the Jeep for the job.
2013 Viewfinder 27RBSS (7180 Loaded at Certified Cat Scales, approximately 800 pounds to the tongue as tested): ViewFinder Signature Aerodynamic V-nose Travel Trailer | V-27RBSS | Cruiser RV | Lightweight Travel Trailers | Lightweight RVs | Lightweight Toy Haulers | Lightweight Campers
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The Trip was fairly hilly throughout the majority of the drive (75-80%) and never once did I find that the JGC was not exactly in the gear I expected. As a note "Tow Haul" of course does not exist and there is no need. The Transmission generally likes to be in 5th through 7th of its own accord and used 8th on downhill grades. Also I want to point out there was 0, none, nada unusual shift behavior after driving a little over 3 and a half hours then taking the trailer off.
I want to point out that I generally drive moderate to slightly aggressively with the trailer on, I spend a great deal of time trailering and have done so for many years with trailers of all sizes. I am safety conscious however I do tend to try and keep with the general flow of traffic (within reason). Later on seeing the towing and non-towing mileage, just know I think a more relaxed driver would likely have no problems doing better.
The most outstanding experience I had was following someone doing about 5 miles under the speed limit constantly (single lane) for many miles. When I reached a passing lane this "&#$%&@" then decided to pick up the pace about 10 MPH as I attemped to pass going up a decent grade. I put the foot down, the transmission didn't miss a beat, went straight to 3rd from 5th no hesitation no jump to another gear and was able to pass on the incline confidently and safely. To say the least I was impressed having been in similar situations with the Durango and not having that same confidence. Never once did the Jeep get within 1000 RPM of redline, and always fealt like there was power to spare.
In comparison to my towing the same trailer with the 2013 RAM 1500 Hemi 5.7, the mileage was more than 1 Gallon per mile better towing with the JGC (I am using EVIC but I did some checks and the math is close enough to compare) My overall MPG are posted below, please take into consideration I do not drive like my grandfather.
Not only was the transmission a completely wonderful experience but also the Air Suspension. The trailer actually felt a little better behind the JGC than the RAM in medium breezes and passing traffic. I attribute this to two things. The air suspension did a very nice job of dampening the loading to the vehicle better than the RAM. Also the air suspension lowering in Aero mode on the highway changes the loading to the hitch ever so slightly that at higher speeds felt more stable. I was generally more comfortable towing in the JGC then the RAM as I was definitely bounced around a lot less in rougher conditions (I would need to test a RAM with air suspension and the 8 speed to get similar results... the RAM I had was equipped with neither so a slightly biased comparison).
Another key thing with Air Suspension that is really important and the Jeep Engineers totally got this right.... ***It does not load level until you drive***. This is a big deal folks, there were some very dangerous load leveling systems out there that you needed to make sure the vehicle was OFF prior to trailer hook up or it could seriously injure you. So while I was loading up the bars and tongue, as I took the weight off the trailer and onto the Jeep it did nothing. I left it running for a few minutes and even revved the engine and it did not change. This is so amazing because I can now hook up and go without turning off the vehicle to avoid pinch and crush points. The reaction of the vehicle is completely predictable. So as soon as I took it around the block it set itself to within a 1/16th of what it was pre loading (I also included my Hot Rod Jeep after I took the trailer off just for amusement!)
I got better than expected Mileage based on my prior trips (1 and Change MPG better than the RAM and almost 3MPG better than the Durango with the 5 Speed). The transmission performed better than I expected (I even tried Sport mode a little for more aggressive shift pattern).
I can honestly say this is the least intrusive trailering experience I have had in this weight and size of trailer and keeping the "car ride quality" (I have towed this size with everything from a Duramax to Yukons and Mercedes Diesel). The Mercedes was by far my preferred ride for trailer before but the JGC simply handled the tongue weight better (The ML320 needed to be loaded differently to achieve the 576 Pound tongue limit so the trailer was often lighter marginally as well but still felt very heavy on the rear end).
I don't think I can cover everything in a single post, but it was generally just a wonderful experience so please feel free to post questions. Also I know it doesn't have flipper glass
but this is the only SUV I have towed with that I can get the gate to open at all with the trailer on. I could even open the gate all the way with the trailer turned sharp. So much easier to load the dogs before going SOLD!!
My trip back without the trailer included approximately 12 miles short cut on some very winding hilly paved roads... Almost entirely in sport and manually shifting with some "spirited" driving (I pretended it was an SRT for a little bit) and I still achieved over 22MPG on the way back.
1 - Trailer on Running not leveled
2 - Trailer after a run around the block (leveled)
3 - Gate open on tight turn, good clearence (no other SUV this has worked for me, they all hit the electric Jack)
4 - MPG with trailer
5 - MPG no trailer (route back)
6 - Hot Rod (jacked rear) Jeep trailer off... lol
Thanks for Reading!